Tag Archive | jesus

God does not share his glory with anyone, and yet shares it with Jesus – Isaiah 42:8

helig ande I am the Lord: that is my name: and my GLORY will I NOT GIVE ANOTHER, neither my praise to graven images. Is. 42:8

Glory is here translated from the Hebrew word kabowd (Strong’s 3519), and apart from ”glory” it can also be translated honor. God’s divine claim does not mean that man will never disobey it or give the glory worthy of a Creator to someone else, but from God’s perspective HE will not give his glory to someone else.

We can read about the glory of the righteous, the glory of Lebanon, etc, but obviously Jahveh is in Is. 42:8 and 48:11 talking about a particular kind of glory that he will not share with anyone else, or else his claim would be meaningless. He emphasizes that he will not give his glory to anyone else, so obviously he is making a point. We can understand from the context that the glory that he does not share with anyone else is the glory that belongs to the Creator God – the Judge of all mankind. It is this type of glory that Moses could only see a glimpse of due to the magnificent power (Ex. 33:22). However, it is possible to behold the glory indirectly (or directly in another shape), like when Moses saw and spoke with Jahveh in a bush, and when Abraham was dining together with the Angel of the Lord.

Isaiah 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I WILL NOT GIVE MY GLORY UNTO ANOTHER. 12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Jesus Christ is given glory, power and majesty confirmed by the Father. If the below verses do not describe the glory that belongs to the most powerful being, I do not know what is. The person in focus is Jesus Christ, which indicates that he holds the same glorious position as his Father. Either Jahveh is not telling us the truth about not giving his glory to someone else, OR we can solve the inconsistency by accepting that Jesus belongs to the same godhead as his Father (the trinity). 

Matt 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Who is ”him that liveth for ever and ever” above? Based on for instance Rev. 1:18 it is the son of man Jesus Christ, the Almighty Alpha and Omega. This means that Jesus Christ must be God.

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.—13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.—17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

John 12:34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever:and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

More examples of Jesus Christ receiving the utmost GLORY:

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

John quoting Isaiah – Jesus is given GLORY!

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.–10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Let us compare the section from Isaiah above with the below section from John where Jesus places a lot of focus on himself. All the ”me-me-me” would be completely blasphemous UNLESS of course Jesus truly is our glorious Savior and Creator.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his GLORY, and spake of him.42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

John above quotes Isaiah 6:10 (in John 12:40) and says that Isaiah saw the glory of the Son of God! John combines the glory of Jahveh and the glory of Jesus Christ. Jesus has God’s appearance even in his ”very being”:

Isaiah 46:5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.

1 Kings 8:23 And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:

Psalm 89:6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

Matt. 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

The ”sons of God” (angels) in Ps. 89:6 above are the ones who are around Jahveh in verse 7.  This means that not even the angels around him can be compared to him. Then who is the Son that is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact representation of his very being?

Hebr. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Every knee shall bow to God, or to Jesus? Or both?varje knä skall böjas

Is 66:18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

Based on the above, should we declare Jahveh’s glory among the gentiles or Jesus Christ’s glory among the gentiles? Or maybe there is no difference? Jesus is God in flesh! When we read about knees being bowed to someone, it is just about always in reference to worshiping (compare for instance 1 Kings. 19:18). Yet, we can read about knees being bowed for both Jahveh and Jesus Christ. Is. 45:23 we can read Jahveh saying ”unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear”, and yet we can read about Jesus Christ ”10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Ps. 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

Is. 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Phil. 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Rom. 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 

Mark 15:19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

God alone created the heavens and the earth, AND Jesus Christ:

Is. 44:24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens ALONE; that spreadeth abroad the earth BY MYSELF

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:—16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Did Jahveh forget that Jesus Christ was with him during the creation? Of course not. God is one, and the godhead can say that he was alone. Either the trinity is valid, or the Bible is contradictory. Read more in this article about worshiping Jesus as God.

It is very clear from above that Javheh and Jesus Christ are both given the highest glory, and that every knee shall bow before them as in worshiping. Here are your choices:

  1. Jahve’s does not mean his own claim about not sharing his glory with anyone, and that every knee shall bow exclusively before HIM
  2. Jesus Christ is part of the godhead (the trinity) which means that the Biblical claims above pose no problem.

Blev Jesus en FÖRBANNELSE i vårt ställe? Gal. 3:13

paidGal. 3:13 Kristus friköpte oss från lagens förbannelse, när han blev en förbannelse i vårt ställe. Det står skrivet: Förbannad är var och en som är upphängd på trä. 

Det grekiska ordet för ”förbannelse” är κατάρα (katara, Strong’s 3671), och används även i Gal. 3:10 (och vid ytterligare fyra tillfällen i Nya Testamentet). I Jakobsbrevet 3:10 kontrasteras ”förbannelse” helt enkelt med ”välsignelse”, som alltså är dess motsats.

Gal. 3:10 Men alla som håller sig till laggärningar är under förbannelse. Det står skrivet: Under förbannelse står den som inte håller fast vid allt som är skrivet i lagens bok och gör därefter.

5 Mos. 27:26 Förbannad är den som inte upprätthåller alla ord i denna lag genom att följa dem. Och allt folket skall säga: ”Amen.”

En förklarande mellanvers är ”v. 12 Men lagen säger inte ”av tro”, utan den som håller dessa bud skall leva genom dem.” Jmf. 3 Mos 18:5. Det är alltså stor skillnad mellan Mose lag och den nya lagen som Jesus införde som är byggd på tro med vägledning av den helige Ande. En tro som självfallet visar sig i goda gärningar, precis som fallet var med Abraham. Mose lag kräver fullständig lydnad avseende alla delar av de 613 olika detaljerade lagarna, för annars är man en lagöverträdare. Det finns förstås en väg ut ur dilemmat genom att omvända sig – och under Mose lag kombinera det med djuroffer (det finns ingen förlåtelse utan blod). Guds lagar är till för människornas bästa och vad gäller Mose lag så handlar det till stor del om instruktioner hur man bäst beter sig mot sin nästa. Att bryta mot Guds lag är ofta detsamma som att behandla sin nästa på ett negativt sätt, och där man sätter sig själv i första rum på bekostnad av andra.

Jesus blev en förbannelse i vårt ställe (eller tydligare översatt från grekiska: FÖR OSS), vilket inte är detsamma som att han blev syndig. Att vara skyldig till synd innebär en personlig överträdelse av Guds lag, och denna skyldighet kan inte tas över av någon annan. Framför allt inte det felfria lammet Jesus Kristus.

I Gal. 3:10-13 refererar Paulus till 5 Mos. 21-22-23.

5 Mos. 21:22 Om det på någon vilar en synd som förtjänar döden och man avrättar honom och hänger upp honom på trä, 23 så skall den döda kroppen inte lämnas kvar på träet över natten. Du skall begrava den samma dag, ty en Guds förbannelse är den som har blivit upphängd. Du skall inte orena det land som Herren, din Gud, ger dig till arvedel.

Där handlar det om instruktioner för Israels folk gällande allvarliga synder som förtjänar döden (alltså inte alla synder) och att den skyldige ska upphängas på trä. Lagen krävde då att kroppen inte skulle hänga kvar över natten, utan begravas samma dag. Skälet till den snabba begravningen sägs vara att en Guds förbannelse är den som har blivit upphängd. Detta betyder att personen var föremål för gudomligt missnöje, såsom tyngd under en Guds förbannelse (pga en synd värdig döden). Under den här tiden var varken Jesus eller korsfästelser kända, men den här lagen passar onekligen in som en bra bild på Jesus Kristus som frivilligt tog på sig största tänkbara straff på träkorset pga våra synder som förtjänar döden. Som om han vore den störste av alla syndare. I stället för att människorna måste dö pga den förbannelse som lagöverträdelser leder till, så tog Jesus denna förbannelse på sig själv – på så sätt att han dog som ett syndoffer på korset för våra synder (endast på det sättet är hans död ställföreträdande). Men inte på så sätt att vår synd drabbade honom, eller att han i stället för oss tog det straffet som vi skulle ha. Det var aldrig tänkt att vårt straff skulle vara korsfästelse, men snarare evig död i helvetet.

För att vi skulle slippa att vara föremål för en förbannelse och ett välförtjänt straff så tog Jesus bort skulderna genom att dö för oss. Att Jesus dog på samma sätt som den värsta förbrytaren betyder alltså inte att han var kriminell (eller blev kriminell under straff), utan att straffet var detsamma som för en förbrytare.

Sonens död var helt enligt Faderns vilja, så det fanns alltså inga skäl för Fadern att separera sig själv från sonen på minsta vis eller låta sin vrede drabba honom. Guds vrede uttöms endast över lagöverträdare, och det har Jesus aldrig varit. Jesus offer var verkligen väldoftande inför Gud Fader.

”The passage should never be so interpreted as to leave the impression that he was in any conceivable sense the object of the divine displeasure. —-Jesus was not guilty in any proper sense of the word. —His sufferings were in the place of the penalty, not the penalty itself. They were a substitution for the penalty, and were, therefore, strictly and properly vicarious, and were not the identical sufferings which the sinner would himself have endured.”

”Jesus was not sinful, or a sinner, in any sense. He did not so take human guilt upon him, that the words sinful and sinner could with any propriety be applied to him. They are not applied to him any way in the Bible; but there the language is undeviating. It is that in all senses he was holy and undefiled. And yet language is often used on this subject which is horrible and only a little short of blasphemy, as if he was guilty, and as if he was even the greatest sinner in the universe.”

/Albert Barnes

”Redeem” eller ”friköpa” (satt fri)

Gal. 3:13 innehåller ordet ”friköpte” och det förekommer även i Gal. 4:5, Ef. 5:16 och Kol. 4:5. På engelska, såsom i KJV, används ordet ”redeemed”. Det här med att köpa, friköpa och betala kan vara luriga begrepp när man använder dem teologiskt eftersom man kan associera till fel saker, men det går förstås också att förstå orden rätt i sitt sammanhang. ”Redeem” (friköpa) kommer här från det grekiska ἐξαγοράζω (exagorazó, Strong’s 1805) med betydelsen av att lösa ut eller köpa ut såsom med betydelsen av att rädda från att gå förlorad. I KJV är just redeem eller ransom vanliga översättningar, och fördelen med de orden är att man inte måste associera till pengar, skuldbetalningar eller köp av varor (som är starkt kopplade till s.k. ”försoningsläran” som myntades av Anselm av Canterbury). En uppförsbacke när man diskuterar Jesu korsfästelse är att vi kanske tolkar begrepp på olika sätt (såsom ”försoningsläran”, eller ”ställföreträdande död”), så ett förtydligande resonemang hur man menar kan onekligen hjälpa. Dessutom så kan översättningar till eller från engelska trassla till det ytterligare då samma begrepp uppfattas på ett annat sätt på det andra språket.

Man skulle kunna säga att Jesu död handlar om att han befriade oss från bördan av att behöva fortsätta att befinna oss under Mose lag – på bekostnad av hans död. Det pris som Jesus Kristus betalade för att ge oss möjlighet till evigt liv var sin egen smärtsamma död på Golgata. Att offra sitt eget liv är onekligen ett högt pris att betala. Notera noga att detta inte innebär att Jesus betalade en skuld, utan snarare TOG BORT en skuld. Man skulle kunna jämföra det pris som Jesus betalade med soldater som betalar ett högt pris för sitt land när de försvarar det under krig och kanske skadas eller t o m dör i sin kamp. Inga pengatransaktioner krävs för att ”betala ett högt pris” på detta sätt. Det är snarare OFFRET som åsyftas.

Om någon har förstört eller haft bort en annan persons ägodel så känns de naturliga alternativen som att den drabbade antingen kräver betalning/ersättning för den skadade ägodelen, eller att han/hon förlåter + stryker skulden. Att både kräva full betalning samtidigt som man menar att man generöst stryker skulden är motsägelsefullt. Det är helt bakvänt att lova ”när du betalat värdet till fullo så förlåter jag dig och stryker skulden”. Det är antingen eller. Läs gärna liknelsen i Matt. 18:23-35, där en Kung först RADERADE en tjänares skulder (det var alltså ingen annan som betalade dem) men där tjänaren åter fick skulderna tillbaka pga att han vägrade att förlåta en annan persons skulder. Notera att i liknelsen är förlåta detsamma som att stryka skulder. Det kan handla om skulder i pengar, men även överträdelser/handlingar som någon gjort mot en annan.

Det är viktigt att befria sig från tankarna att det skulle handla om att betala en skuld eller att associera till banktransaktioner, för om vi måste tänka i banorna av en skuldbetalning så tvingas vi även att erkänna att en betald skuld är just en 100% betald skuld. Betalt är betalt! Om jag har en skuld och någon träder in och betalar denna skuld åt mig så måste den betraktas som betald. Om våra synder blev betalda för 2000 år sedan när Jesus dog på korset, så leder det till att våra synder är betalda redan innan vi utför dem, samt att vi har en ”license to sin”. Då hamnar farligt nära Satans lögn ”Ingalunda skall ni dö”. Läs gärna mer i denna artikel och denna.

substituteAtt FÖRLÅTA handlar om att man hoppar över att utkräva straff eller betalning/ersättning för en skuld  – Man UTRADERAR/STRYKER den helt enkelt!

Jesus Kristus offrade sitt liv för oss så att straffet för våra synder skulle kunna bli strukna (friköpta) OM vi omvänder oss och tror. Våra synder tar inte en extrasväng in i Jesu kropp innan de tas bort. Han behöver inte bokstavligt få dem på sig eller i sig. Synda är något man gör och ingenting som kan överflyttas till någon annans kropp. Jesus dog för att våra synder skulle raderas – vilket kan ske om vi omvänder oss och tror. Antingen så förlåter och stryker Gud våra tidigare skulder (definitivt inte våra framtida), eller också utkräver han straff och/eller full betalning för våra skulder.

Joh. 1:29 Nästa dag såg han Jesus komma, och han sade: ”Se Guds lamm, som TAR BORT världens synd.

Straffet för våra synder anses vara evig separation från Gud och helvete. Tog Jesus det straffet på sig och i stället för oss? Nej, eftersom vi fortfarande riskerar Guds vrede och helvetet för våra synder. Att predika ”Jesus tog straffet för våra synder, och han betalade vår skuld”, skulle kunna missförstås och missbrukas. En ateist skulle kunna håna begreppen och säga ”Så bra att Jesus tog straffet för mina synder! Då är jag ju fria att synda! Har han betalt för mina skulder så är de väl helt betalda för alltid? Betalt är betalt! Ingen betalar en faktura två gånger!”.

Jesus ”bar” våra synder symboliskt på sina axlar då han dog en ställföreträdande död. Gud föredrar lydnad snarare än offer (1 Sam. 15:22; Ps. 51:16-17) Matt. 9:13; 12:7), och ett offer som inte är kombinerat med ett omvänt hjärta frälser inte. Jesus tog heller inte Guds vrede i stället för oss (som om Gud skulle ha behov att utspy vrede över folk för att kunna förlåta). Guds vrede fortsätter att drabba den som syndar, och kristna är inte undantagna (Lukas 21:23; Jn. 3:36; Rom. 1:18). Gud vänder inte bort från sin vrede förrän syndaren vänder bort från sin synd. Jesus dog för att vi ska kunna slippa den välförtjänta vreden, men på villkor av omvändelse. Guds vrede kan ”passera oss” (hoppa över oss) på vissa villkor, eftersom Jesus är vårt Passover-lamm  (1 Kor. 5:7).

Kanske missförstånd angående betydelsen av Jesu död delvis kommer från Luther, som uttryckt sig väldigt olyckligt:

Martin Luther:

”And this, no doubt, all the prophets did foresee in spirit, than Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, and blasphemer, that ever was OR could be in the world. For he being made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world is not now an innocent person and without sins; is not now the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; but a sinner which hath and carrieth the sin of Paul, who was a blasphemer, an oppressor, and a persecutor; of Peter, which denied Christ; of David, which was an adulterer, a murderer, and caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of the Lord; and, briefly, which hath and beareth all the sins of all people in his body: not that he himself committed them, but for that he received them, being committed or done of us, and laid them upon his own body, that he might make satisfaction for them with his own blood./ Luther on the Galatians, Galatians 3:13. (pp. 213-215. London edition, 1838).

Vad betyder FRI i Jesus Kristus? Fri även att synda?

tillbedjan-7Var och en som gör synd är syndens slav och inte fri!

Det är tragiskt att en del kristna hävdar att de är FRIA i Jesus Kristus på så sätt att de t o m är fria att synda eftersom Jesus ”tagit deras synd på sig”, dött på korset i stället för dem, etc. Därmed menar de att lydnad av Guds bud visserligen är eftersträvansvärt och något som vi bör göra, men inte längre något som tynger oss eller riskerar vår fasta position som Guds barn. M.a.o skulle det innebära att vi inte längre riskerar straff för vår synd så länge som vi bara tror på den förlåtande Jesus! De inser inte att detta resonemang innebär LAGLÖSHET, och laglöshet är något som Bibeln varnar ska komma i allt större kraft den sista tiden. Jag hävdar inte att de som missförstått ”frihet i Kristus” på ett sådant sätt nödvändigtvis syndar mer än andra, men å andra sidan är risken stor att svaga kristna frestas att synda om de blivit övertalade om att de har en brandförsäkring genom tesen ”en gång frälst alltid frälst”. 

Först Jesus egna ord om frihet:

Joh 8:31 Jesus sade till de judar som hade satt tro till honom: ”Om ni förblir i mitt ord, är ni verkligen mina lärjungar, 32 och ni skall förstå sanningen, och sanningen skall göra er fria.” 33 De svarade honom: ”Vi är Abrahams barn och har aldrig varit slavar under någon. Hur kan du säga att vi skall bli fria?34 Jesus svarade: ”Amen, amen säger jag er: Var och en som gör synd är syndens slav. 35 Slaven bor inte kvar i huset för alltid, men sonen stannar där för alltid. 36 Om nu Sonen gör er fria, blir ni verkligen fria. 36 Om nu Sonen gör er fria, blir ni verkligen fria. 37 Jag vet att ni är Abrahams barn, men ni vill döda mig därför att ni inte förstår mitt ord.38 Jag talar vad jag har sett hos min Fader. Ni gör vad ni har hört av er fader.”39 De svarade honom: ”Vår fader är Abraham.” Jesus sade: ”Om ni vore Abrahams barn, skulle ni göra Abrahams gärningar.—51 Amen, amen säger jag er: Den som bevarar mitt ord skall aldrig någonsin se döden.”

Notera att vi är Jesu lärljungar OM vi förblir i hans ord. Om vi förblir i hans ord så förstår vi hans sanning samt håller oss till den vilket är vad som gör oss fria. Jesus säger också att ”var och en som gör synd är syndens slav”. M.a.o. är vi inte fria om vi syndar. Däremot så kan sonen (Jesus Kristus) göra oss fria från detta slavok, och det sker när vi omvänder oss från synden och därmed blir förlåtna för våra tidigare synder tack vare Jesu blodoffer för oss. Då blir vi verkligen 100% renade och helt fria. Vi blir alltså inte förlåtna och renade i våra pågående synder, och vidare finns risken att vi återigen blir slavar och ofria i det fall vi återigen lyder synden. Ingen måste återvända till sina gamla spyor.

Jesus menar vad han säger när han hävdar att den som gör synd är syndens slav. Denna regel upphör inte att gälla för kristna som blivit födda på nytt. Samma regel gäller alla. Jesus förklarar för judarna att om de verkligen vore Abrahams barn så skulle de också göra hans gärningar. Vilka gärningar gjorde Abraham? Han lydde Gud och var honom trogen! Jesus avslutar med att återigen påminna om att den som bevarar hans ord aldrig ska dö. Att bevara hans ord innebär att älska, följa och lyda honom. Vi kan alltså bli kvitt synden och bli fria från vår skuld, eftersom vi erbjuds att bli fullständigt renade i Jesu blod. Oavsett vad vi gjort oss skyldiga till! Detta gör oss fria!

Paulus är inne på samma tema:isaiah 55.jpg

Rom 6:1 Vad skall vi nu säga? Skall vi fortsätta att synda för att nåden skall bli större? 2 Nej, visst inte! Vi som har dött bort från synden, hur skulle vi kunna fortsätta att leva i den?  6 Vi vet att vår gamla människa har blivit korsfäst med Kristus, för att syndens kropp skall berövas sin makt, så att vi inte längre är slavar under synden. 11 Så skall också ni se på er själva: ni är döda från synden och lever för Gud i Kristus Jesus.12 Synden skall därför inte härska i er dödliga kropp, så att ni lyder dess begär. 13 Ställ inte era lemmar i syndens tjänst, som vapen åt orättfärdigheten, utan ställ er själva i Guds tjänst. Ni som var döda men nu lever, ställ era lemmar i Guds tjänst som vapen åt rättfärdigheten. 14 Synden skall inte vara herre över er, ty ni står inte under lagen utan under nåden. 15 Hur är det alltså? Skall vi synda, eftersom vi inte står under lagen utan under nåden? Naturligtvis inte! 16 Vet ni inte att om ni gör er till slavar under någon och lyder honom, då är ni hans slavar och det är honom ni lyder, antingen under synden, vilket leder till död, eller under lydnaden, vilket leder till rättfärdighet? 17 Men Gud vare tack! Ni var syndens slavar men har nu av hjärtat blivit lydiga mot den lära som ni blivit överlämnade åt. 18 Nu är ni slavar under rättfärdigheten, sedan ni har befriats från synden. 19 – För er mänskliga svaghets skull använder jag en så enkel bild. – Ty liksom ni förr ställde era lemmar i orenhetens och laglöshetens slavtjänst, till ett laglöst liv, så skall ni nu ställa era lemmar i rättfärdighetens slavtjänst, till helgelse. 20 Medan ni var syndens slavar, var ni fria från rättfärdigheten. 21 Men vad skördade ni då för frukt? Jo, det som ni nu skäms för. Slutet på sådant är döden. 22 Men nu, då ni befriats från synden och blivit Guds slavar, blir frukten att ni helgas och till slut får evigt liv. 23 Ty syndens lön är döden, men Guds gåva är evigt liv i Kristus Jesus, vår Herre.

Paulus upprepar här ovan Guds ord från 1 Mosebok – att syndens lön är döden. Vi måste komma ihåg att det är Satan som hävdar det motsatta (som han lurade den rättfärdiga Eva att tro) nämligen att synden INTE leder till döden. Om vi därför hävdar att vi som kristna inte längre riskerar separation från Gud även om vi syndar, så håller vi egentligen med om Satans komfortabla lära (att vi kan tjäna två herrar utan risker). Paulus gör en tydlig skillnad mellan DÅ och NU. FÖRR var vi slavar under synden, men NU lever vi heligt eftersom vi valt att använda våra kroppsdelar i rättfärdighetens slavtjänst. Vi kan alltså vara av hjärtat lydiga, enligt Paulus. Han säger även ”Vet ni inte att om ni gör er till slavar under någon och lyder honom, då är ni hans slavar och det är honom ni lyder, antingen under synden, vilket leder till DÖD, eller under lydnaden, vilket leder till RÄTTFÄRDIGHET?” Valet är alltså synd som leder till död, eller lydnad som leder till rättfärdighet och liv. Han upprepar valet i v. 21-22 – synd leder till död och att vara Guds slavar leder till liv. Det är vi själva som gör valet.

Vanligtvis är det Rom. 7 som man gärna vill citera om man vill stödja synd, men både på grekiska och svenska är det fullt möjligt att förklara en situation i nutid fast man menar dåtid eller rent allmänt. Paulus själv förklarar att han levt sitt liv med fullständigt rent samvete (Apg. 23:1) och menar förmodligen sedan sin pånyttfödelse. Självfallet har man inte ett rent samvete om man blandar in synd i sitt liv. Det blir än mer tydligt om man läser i Rom. 8:

Rom. 8:1 Så finns nu ingen fördömelse för dem som är i Kristus Jesus. 2 Ty livets Andes lag har i Kristus Jesus gjort mig fri från syndens och dödens lag. 3 Det som var omöjligt för lagen, svag som den var genom den syndiga naturen, det gjorde Gud genom att sända sin egen Son som syndoffer, han som till det yttre var lik en syndig människa, och i hans kropp fördömde Gud synden. 4 Så skulle lagens krav uppfyllas i oss som inte lever efter köttet utan efter Anden.De som lever efter sin köttsliga natur tänker på det som hör till köttet, men de som lever efter Anden tänker på det som hör till Anden. Köttets sinne är död, men Andens sinne är liv och frid. Köttets sinne är fiendskap mot Gud. Det underordnar sig inte Guds lag och kan det inte heller. De som följer sin syndiga natur kan inte behaga Gud.Ni däremot lever inte efter köttet utan efter Anden, eftersom Guds Ande bor i er. Den som inte har Kristi Ande tillhör inte honom. 10 Men om Kristus bor i er, är visserligen kroppen död för syndens skull men Anden är liv för rättfärdighetens skull. 11 Och om hans Ande som uppväckte Jesus från de döda bor i er, då skall han som uppväckte Kristus från de döda göra också era dödliga kroppar levande genom sin Ande som bor i er.12 Vi har alltså skyldigheter, bröder, men inte mot vår onda natur, så att vi skall leva efter köttet. 13 Om ni lever efter köttet kommer ni att dö. Men om ni genom Anden dödar kroppens gärningar skall ni leva. 14 Ty alla som drivs av Guds Ande är Guds söner.— 33 Vem kan anklaga Guds utvalda? Gud är den som frikänner. 35 Vem kan skilja oss från Kristi kärlek? Nöd eller ångest, förföljelse eller hunger, nakenhet, fara eller svärd? 36 Det står ju skrivet:För din skull dödas vi hela dagen, vi räknas som slaktfår. 37 Men i allt detta vinner vi en överväldigande seger genom honom som har älskat oss. 

Enligt Paulus försäkring ovan vet vi att vi kan vara helt trygga OM vi är i Jesus Kristus, som är villkoret. För att vara i honom måste vi älska honom, och älskar vi honom så lyder vi honom. Detta kan vara svårt om vi brister i kontakten med honom, men lättare om vi håller oss nära honom, ber till honom, läser hans ord, sjunger lovsånger, etc. Frestelser är inte synd, men att ge in för frestelser är synd. 1917 års översättning är bättre än SFB vad gäller Rom. 8 och alla avsnitt där vi kan läsa om vårt kött eller vår natur. Kött kan inte vara syndigt i sig självt. Jesus själv hade kött precis som vi och han var ingen syndare. Syndare blir vi när vi bryter mot Guds lag och inte när vi redan i magen börjar utveckla vårt eget kött. Att ”leva efter köttet” är detsamma som att synda, genom att ge in för kroppsliga begär som betraktas som synd. Lever vi efter köttet kommer vi alltså att dö, enligt Paulus. Paulus förväntar sig enligt v. 4-5 att kristna ska leva efter anden i stället för att leva efter köttet. Återigen i v 6 ser vi att valet är död (om vi lever efter köttet) och liv (om vi lever efter Anden). Vidare i v 8-9 så ser vi att vi inte kan behaga Gud om vi väljer att leva efter köttet, samt att det är fullt möjligt att få total seger över synden genom att leva efter Anden. I v. 12 förklarar Paulus att vi har skyldigheter, men vi har inga skyldigheter gentemot vårt kött så att vi ska lyda dess begär om de är syndiga. Återigen i v. 13 upprepas att vi kommer att dö om vi lyder köttets begär, samt att vi utlovas liv om vi i stället lyder Anden. I v. 14 vet vi att vi är Guds söner om vi drivs av Anden.

Det är Gud som kan frikänna oss, och om vi omvänder oss så förlåter han oss. Om vi är Guds barn så är vi också frikända (eftersom vi renats från all synd och lever i rättfärdighet), men villkoret är förstås att vi förblir Guds barn genom att vara honom trogen. Gud älskar oss innerligt, men det betyder inte att han kommer att acceptera oss ”som vi är” om detta innebär ett liv i synd. Precis som fadern till den förlorade sonen så hoppas Gud Fader att människor ska omvända sig och återvända till honom så att de får gemenskap med honom och EVIGT LIV.

Paulus tar upp det här med friheten i Galaterbrevet:

Gal. 2:4 Hade det berott på de falska bröder som smugit sig in, skulle han ha blivit tvungen till det. De hade nästlat sig in för att spionera på den frihet vi har i Kristus Jesus och göra oss till slavar.

Gal. 3:3 Är ni så dåraktiga? Ni som började i Anden, skall ni nu sluta i köttet? 4 Har ni lidit så mycket förgäves, ja, helt förgäves?—10 Men alla som håller sig till laggärningar är under förbannelse. Det står skrivet: Under förbannelse står den som inte håller fast vid allt som är skrivet i lagens bok och gör därefter. 11 Att ingen förklaras rättfärdig inför Gud genom lagen är uppenbart, eftersom den rättfärdige skall leva av tro. 12 Men lagen säger inte ”av tro”, utan den som håller dessa bud skall leva genom dem. 13 Kristus friköpte oss från lagens förbannelse, när han blev en förbannelse i vårt ställe. Det står skrivet: Förbannad är var och en som är upphängd på trä. 14 Vi friköptes, för att den välsignelse Abraham fått skulle i Jesus Kristus komma till hedningarna och för att vi genom tron skulle få den utlovade Anden.—19 Varför gavs då lagen? Den blev tillagd för överträdelsernas skull för att gälla tills avkomlingen skulle träda fram, han som löftet gällde. Den utfärdades genom änglar och lades i en medlares hand. —25 Men sedan tron har kommit, står vi inte längre under någon övervakare.

Gal. 4:8 Tidigare, då ni inte kände Gud, var ni slavar under gudar som egentligen inte är några gudar. 9 Men nu, då ni känner Gud, ja, än mer, har blivit kända av Gud, hur kan ni då vända tillbaka till dessa svaga och ynkliga människostadgar som ni på nytt vill bli slavar under? 10 Ni iakttar noga dagar och månader och särskilda tider och år. 11 Jag är rädd att jag har ansträngt mig förgäves bland er.

Gal 5:1 Till denna frihet har Kristus gjort oss fria. Stå därför fasta och låt er inte på nytt tvingas in under slavoket. 2 Se, jag Paulus säger er att om ni låter omskära er, kommer Kristus inte att vara till någon hjälp för er. 3 Jag försäkrar er än en gång: var och en som låter omskära sig är skyldig att hålla hela lagen. Ni har kommit bort ifrån Kristus, ni som försöker bli rättfärdiga genom lagen. Ni har fallit ur nåden. 5 Vi däremot väntar i Anden genom tron på den rättfärdighet som är vårt hopp. Ty i Kristus Jesus beror det inte på om vi är omskurna eller oomskurna, utan om vi har en tro som är verksam i kärlek.7 Ni började bra. Vem har nu hindrat er, så att ni inte längre lyder sanningen? 8 Till det har ni inte blivit övertalade av honom som kallade er. Lite surdeg syrar hela degen. 13 Ni är kallade till frihet, bröder. Använd bara inte friheten så att den onda naturen får något tillfälle, utan tjäna varandra i kärlek. 14 Ty hela lagen är uppfylld i detta enda budord: Du skall älska din nästa som dig själv. 15 Men om ni biter och sliter i varandra, se då till att ni inte blir uppslukade av varandra.16 Vad jag vill säga är detta: vandra i Anden, så kommer ni inte att göra vad köttet begär. 17 Ty köttet söker det som är emot Anden och Anden söker det som är emot köttet. De två strider mot varandra för att hindra er att göra det ni vill. 18 Men om ni leds av Anden, står ni inte under lagen. 19 Köttets gärningar är uppenbara: de är otukt, orenhet, lösaktighet, 20 avgudadyrkan, svartkonst, fiendskap, kiv, avund, vredesutbrott, gräl, splittringar, villoläror, 21 illvilja, fylleri, utsvävningar och annat sådant. Jag säger er i förväg vad jag redan har sagt: de som lever så skall inte ärva Guds rike.22 Andens frukt däremot är kärlek, glädje, frid, tålamod, vänlighet, godhet, 23 trohet, mildhet och självbehärskning. Sådant är lagen inte emot.24 De som tillhör Kristus Jesus har korsfäst sitt kött med dess lidelser och begär. 25 Om vi har liv genom Anden, låt oss då även följa Anden.

Självfallet talar inte Paulus emot sig själv gällande det han förklarat i Romarbrevet. Paulus är i Galaterbrevet inte upprörd över att Galaterna hävdar att man måste lyda Gud och vara honom trogen – för exakt det hävdar ju Paulus själv i sina brev. Den slaveri som Paulus talar om i Galaterbrevet är en annan typ av slaveri, nämligen bördan att leva under ”laggärningar” som syftar på kravet av omskärelse samt övriga judiska lagar (613 inalles) som inte längre än bindande. Mose lag med alla dess ceremoniella bud bör alltså inte längre läras ut som frälsningskrav eftersom de endast gällde tills löftets avkomling skulle träda fram (Jesus). Det står definitivt inte att vi allt sedan Jesu död på korset inte längre har några lagar/bud att lyda överhuvudtaget. Paulus frågar ju galaterna ”Vem har nu hindrat er, så att ni inte längre LYDER sanningen?” Uppenbarligen så finns fortfarande bud som vi måste lyda och, och det handlar om de bud som gällt allt sedan Adam och Eva (inte döda, ljuga, stjäla, begår äktenskapsbrott, etc). Paulus listar även en del synder och lovar ”de som lever så skall inte ärva Guds rike”. Han ger inget fribrev till kristna.

Att vara FRI i Jesus Kristus betyder alltså inte att vara fri att synda.

Why the need for Jesus to UPBRAID people if God’s will always happens?

Matt 11.jpgWhy UPBRAID someone who possesses no ability to disobey you?

”Upbraid” is a translation from the Greek verb ὀνειδίζω (oneidizō Strong’s 3579) and apart from upbraid it could hold the meaning of reproach, suffer reproach and revile. The verb occurs 11 times in the KJV, and it derives from the noun ὄνειδος (G3681). Examples of usage:

Matt. 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Above we can see a clear example of people and entire cities acting contrary to God’s will. Jesus upbraided people due to their refusal to repent! Jesus wanted them to repent and provided them ample opportunities to do so (showed them many miracles) and yet they chose not to. Sinning IS breaking the law, which means that sinning is acting against God’s will. This should be self-evident, but when it comes to our reformed friends, this is not always so. Calvinists normally have a problem with a God who is not sovereign in such a way that he predestines ALL things and ALL actions of men. Or else, they say, he is not sovereign. (”Sovereign” is not even a Biblical word in the KJV, so of course the term must be interpreted.) These verses suggest that things would have (and could have) turned out differently, if the people involved acted in a different way. This is evidence of that things do not take place because they are predestined by God. We can affect our future depending on our choices and actions, but why even pray if we can affect nothing?

Mark. 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

Above we can yet again see Jesus upbraiding people, and this time due to their refusal to believe the message about him and due to their hardened hearts. This means it certainly was not Jesus (as God) who hardened their hearts so that they could not believe, because then Jesus would not need to upbraid them. They had the choice to believe in the testimonies of those who had seen Jesus risen (as he told them he would), and they also had the chance to believe that Jesus was the one the Scriptures were telling them about, but they choice to harden their hearts.

A few more examples:

Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

Matt. 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Matt. 27:44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 

Rom. 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (the NIV translates ”without finding fault”)

Believe in Jesus for the very works’ sake – healing can cause faith, John 14:11

”Believe in me for the very work’s sake”, says Jesus

John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

We are created to seek God and find him (Acts 17), but it also appears as though we can be even more influenced to do so by witnessing or experiencing the works of Jesus (or any Christian who uses this gift), such as healing and miracles. However, being healed will not automatically produce a change of mind and a decision to start following Jesus. The story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19 shows this very clearly. For one of the lepers being healed also caused him to give glory to God and seek the advice of Jesus, but the others did not take this chance but went on with their current lives. In just about all other healing stories in the Bible the miracles caused a huge difference in people’s spiritual lives. Probably because those who seek to be healed by Jesus are also dispositioned to follow him because they believe he is divine, has all the power to heal the sick and will be the great Judge in the end of days.

Hebr. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It works both ways; witnessing/experiencing the works of Jesus might produce faith (or greater faith), but great faith can also cause an openness to be healed – which in turn can produce even greater faith:

Acts 14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

Matt. 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

Mark. 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Lazarus who was a friend and a believer in Jesus (so spiritually alive) went from physical death to physical life thanks to being healed by Jesus. Jesus encourages us to believe in order to see the glory of God, and here we can also see that many Jews started to believe in Jesus precisely because of the things they had seen him doing:

John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?-–45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Thomas had a hard time believing Jesus was Lord and God, but after a meeting with Jesus he started to believe. It was of course something positive that Thomas changed his mind and started to believe, but Jesus also explains there are people who believe without this type of miraculous meeting – and they are therefore very blessed. It is not the normal process that each individual must first have a physical encounter with Jesus before they can believe he is the IAM and our Savior. This is how it worked for Thomas, but the word of God makes it clear we can seek him and find him without these types of meetings:

John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Below we can clearly see Jesus upbraiding cities due to the lack of faith within them. Mighty works were done in them, and people still did not believe! Jesus makes a comparison with Tyre and Sidon, because if such mighty works would have been done in their cities, they would have repented long ago. True repentance leads to life. Miracles such as casting out demons, and healing the sick, can therefore be very important tools to reach the lost. Not just regarding the temporary physical blessings here on earth, but for people’s eternal future – which is way more important.

Matt. 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

+ Luke 10:13-37

People near Jesus realized that it is not likely that a devil would open the eyes of the blind. At least this is nothing that they had experienced before, and they started to believe that Jesus was truly divine. Also Jesus confirmed that the works that he performs in his Father’s name also bear witness of him. Due to the skeptics’ choice to doubt Jesus, they did not qualify to be his sheep. Because, who are the sheep of Jesus? They are the ones who choose to FOLLOW him according to John 10:27. Jesus explained that people had the chance here to believe in Jesus precisely due to the miraculous works he made – in combination with prophesies and the good fruit he displayed. Despite that the Jewish Torah should have made it clear for the Jews that Jesus is the one that the Scriptures talk about, and despite that John the Baptist spoke about Jesus as divine, the Jews still looked for reasons to not believe.

John 10:21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: that ye may know, and BELIEVE, that the Father is in me, and I in him.41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.42 And many believed on him there.

It is a sad fact that people had the chance to be believers in Jesus but despite that he performed many miracles among them and influenced them to do so, they still did not believe:

John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

More examples of healing which can cause much faith

Below are some more examples of where Jesus miracles caused people to believe that he tillbedjan-7is the one he has always claimed to be – being one with his Father, the son of God, God in flesh, etc. On the one hand Jesus definitely expects people to believe in him due to combination of the many prophesies being fulfilled in him, due to the good fruit he displays and due to the many miracles he performs (casting out demons, healing the sick, etc) thanks to power from above. On the other hand Jesus dislikes when people approach him with total lack of faith and place the burden of proof on him – or else he has failed to win them over. Our attitude should not be ”I give you a chance right here and right now to show me signs so that I can believe. If not, you have failed to persuade me which means you lost and I won”. We are the ones who can gain by coming to Jesus in faith.

The fact that the Bible tells us about many people who started to believe when they witnessed the miracles performed by Jesus and his apostles, is of course evidence for that people were not predestined to be elect and non-elect from the foundation of the world.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, WHEN they saw the miracles which he did.

John 7:31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

John 4:46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.

John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.12 Then the deputy, WHEN he saw what was done, BELIEVED, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

We are asked to continue on Jesus path. Casting out demons and healing the sick are still helpful tools to us. Below James is talking about the church settings, but we are also asked to go out in the world to evangalize to the lost and in such circumstances it is possible to perform the great works that Jesus has promised we would be able to do in his name.

Ja. 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Mark. 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

If such miracles and possibilities are supposed to have ceased after the time of the apostles, the word of God certainly forgot to mention it. Instead Christians all over the world have accepted the wonderful promises tied to believers and as a consequence people have been set free from demons and have become healed. A good preacher will encourage Christians to make use of the spiritual gifts which are for today. Praise you Lord!

Here you can read about speaking in tongues.

Which laws / commandments must we obey according to Jesus / New Testament?

law

We are not supposed to live in lawlessness

There have always been commandments to obey:

  • Between the time – from Adam and Moses
  • Between the time – from Moses to Jesus (the Jewish law)
  • Between the time – from Jesus to present

The moral laws which applied from the very beginning still apply – maybe apart from the commandment to not eat of the forbidden fruit, something we cannot even do due to no access. Nevertheless, numerous Christians tend to believe we are somehow free from the burden of having to obey God because Jesus died on the cross and resurrected, and because of the idea that he ”took our sins on himself” and died instead of us. The Bible however tells us that we are slaves to the one we obey, so if we obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free at all. We are still risking God’s wrath.

What does Jesus say?

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus lists the following things which we must do to get eternal life:

  1. not murder
  2. not commit adultery
  3. not steal
  4. not bear false witness 
  5. honour your father and mother
  6. love your neighbour as yourself

Matt. 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

In the gospel of Mark he has a slightly different order, and he adds ”defraud not”, and skips ”love your neighbour as yourself”.  This of course does not mean that the authors are in disagreement even if they highlight different things. To love God and our neighbor as ourselves is self-evident and the foundation of the Jewish faith. In the gospel of Luke, we can again see the same five commandments (similar as in Matthew and Mark), but also Luke seems to assume that loving God and our neighbor is self-evident for a Jew and this foundation does not even need to be mentioned.

We also know from the rest of the story that the young man continued talking to Jesus, and claimed he had kept all those commandments from youth (true or false?). What else did he lack? Well, Jesus said that if he wanted to be ”perfect”, then he should sell all that he had and give to the poor, which would give him a treasure in heaven. He also said to the young man to follow him. We cannot be sure what sort of ”perfect” Jesus is talking about here. In Matt. 5:48 we are requested to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, but it is also possible to be perfect in other ways, such as physically perfect (which evidently Matt. 5:48 does not refer to). If the young ruler would accomplish the perfection that Jesus was talking about here, he could expect ”a treasure in heaven”. Is obeying the mentioned commandments necessary to ”get eternal life” while getting rid of the other obstacle (selling possessions which distract from God) necessary if we want to be perfect and get an extra treasure in heaven? Jesus does indicate that it is very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God, so if possessions hinder us to focus on God then they might also hinder us to get eternal life. It is safe to assume that Jesus could not have meant that the young man must get rid of 100% of all his belongings, because not even Jesus and his disciples accomplished that. We know of great many people in the Bible who also had many possessions, but who were also fully committed to God. Jesus probably sensed that this young man had many possessions enticing him, and therefore phrased himself the way he did. For this man the many possessions seemed to be holding him back, and he likely placed his possessions before God.

In the gospel of Mark the story is similar, but it adds the information that Jesus loved this young man. Jesus felt that this young man lacked one thing, and again it was the many possessions which were in the way. Jesus did not say it was impossible for the young man to be saved, but for many rich people it seems a lot harder.

Mark. 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

According to Luke (assuming it is the same young man), we get the information that he is a ruler (ἄρχων, Strong’s 758)

Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Some might say Jesus mentioned the above commandments while the Mosaic law (as per the old testament) still applied since he had not yet died on the cross and resurrected, but again the moral laws still apply. Sin will continue to separate us from God, and Satan will always be wrong for suggesting the opposite (that sin will not lead to death).

One commandment covers all of the commandments

Jesus of course mentions other examples of things we must ”do” to get eternal life, but those things can all be wrapped up in ”Love God before everything else, and love one another”. If we obey this one commandment, we automatically obey all the rest.

Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Matt. 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Mark. 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Ja. 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well

Jesus specifically tells his disciples (and all of us) to go out and teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever he has commanded them. 

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

James advice about which laws gentiles should obeylaw of God

Below we can read that James does not feel that they should trouble the gentiles when it comes to which laws which should apply for them when it comes to the Jewish law, except that they should abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. ”Immorality” (πορνείας/porneias, Strong’s 4202) can also have the meaning of ”fornication”. (According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon πορνεία can be used metaphorically referring to the worship of idols and/or the defilement of idolatry as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols).

Clearly James, Paul and the other disciples did not claim that gentiles are exempted from obeying any commandments at all. They are specifically talking about the Jewish law in relation to new gentile Christians. Apart from the moral law (the commandments which have always applied ever since Adam, and which Jesus repeats above), James proposes that the only Mosaic laws which they should also obey are to abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication (probably with the meaning as per the Greek lexicon above). They do not list murder, adultery, theft, etc, because they are included in the moral commandments and it is self-evident that Jews and gentiles alike must continue to avoid such things until the end of times.

Acts 15:13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:16 ‘After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;I will rebuild its ruins,And I will set it up;17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.’18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.19 Therefore I judge that we should NOT TROUBLE those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality*, from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (NKJV)

Acts 21:18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. — 20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; 21 but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.—   24 Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. 25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, EXCEPT that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.” (NKJV)